A British researcher recently suggested that all the COVID-19 virus particles throughout the world could fit in one can of Coca-Cola soda, according to Sky News.

What happened?

Christian Yates, a mathematician at Bath University, said there are about 2 quintillion COVID-19 particles in the world. But they are so small that they could make up “a few mouthfuls.”

  • “It’s astonishing to think that all the trouble, the disruption, the hardship and the loss of life that has resulted over the last year could constitute just a few mouthfuls,” Yates said.
  • Yates said he reviewed the size of the viral particles to find out their volume. He then calculated that they could fit in a single Coke can if they were all stacked on top of each other, according to the New York Post.
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How he figured this out

Yates recently explained how he figured out the size in a piece that he wrote in The Conversation.

  • “When I was asked to calculate the total volume of SARS-CoV-2 in the world for the BBC Radio 4 show ‘More or Less,’ I will admit I had no idea what the answer would be,” Yates wrote.
  • “My wife suggested it would be the size of an Olympic swimming pool. ‘Either that or a teaspoon,’ she said. ‘It’s usually one or the other with these sorts of questions,’” he wrote.
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The takeaway

Yates said it’s unfortunate all the grief has come from something so small.

  • “It’s astonishing to think that all the trouble, the disruption, the hardship and the loss of life that has resulted over the last year could constitute just a few mouthfuls of what would undoubtedly be the worst beverage in history.”